Getting Answers: National Grid rate increases

Getting Answers: National Grid rate increases
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 9:18 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Many in the Bay State will soon see their heating bills going up.

In Fact, National Grid told customers they could be paying more than 60 percent more compared to last winter.

“Ever since the war in Ukraine broke out, this has been a high concern for every cold weather place in the world basically,” said Massachusetts’ governor, Charlie Baker.

In western Mass. Thursday, Governor Baker admitted winter heating costs have been a concern for him and other New England governors for months.

This, as National Grid is alerted customers rates are going up on November 1.

We’re told the average household that uses 600 kilowatt hours of electricity will see bills soar from $179 last winter to nearly $300 this winter. That’s a 64 percent increase. The new winter rate will stay in place until May 1.

Why such a huge increase? Western Mass News took that question directly to National Grid spokesperson Christine Milligan.

“That’s because, well a number of factors: The global energy crisis fueled by the war in Ukraine, high inflation, and also capacity restraints in our region,” Milligan explained.

She told Western Mass News that National Grid does not profit from the price jump. Rather, the company is simply passing the added cost to the customer.

“These are purchases made in the wholesale market on behalf of our customers at National Grid and we pass these costs through to our customers at no markup from National Grid…We certainly recognize the impact of the higher energy costs have on our customers,” Milligan said.

She also pointed out that rates are typically higher in the winter compared to the summer, due to added demand. Eversource natural gas customers will be feeling the pinch as well. starting in January, rates will go up 38 percent.

Meantime, Governor Baker asked federal government to do something.

“We’ve been involved in some pretty active discussions with the Biden Administration about things they can do to enhance our ability to make it through the winter. Both, in terms of having the power available for people to heat their homes but also helping us deal with some of the price issues. There are a number of things we have asked them to do. We’re still waiting on their response on that,” Baker said.

In light of these increases, both National Grid and Eversource are expanding their assistance more information can be found below:

Eversource Energy efficiencypayment plans and assistanceNational Grid assistance service, Mass Save.